Q&A: Kyle Korver

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Monday, May 12, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Chris Vivlamore 

Q. Do you call the season a success?
A. I really don’t think about the season that much. I think about the playoffs and a couple of those games that we didn’t quite finish. Those are tough. But to get to where we want to be, it’s not always an uphill climb. You have to go down sometimes too. And you’ve got to learn and you’ve got to lose and you’ve got to get mad and you’ve got to get better. I think in that series you saw what we are capable of in good and bad ways. We saw where we have to get better. There are a lot of things to look at and build on.
Q. What do you think of the foundation that has been laid here this year?
A. I think we are in a great spot. I think it’s an exciting time to be a Hawk. I think it’s an exciting time to be a Hawk fan. I think we are on the way up. We’ve got some good pieces. We’ve got some flexibility with decisions the organization will make. But I think in every way, from the business side of the Hawks, to the team, to the coaching staff to the fans, a lot of really good things happened this year over the course of the whole season. So, we’ll keep on building on that. We’ll keep on getting better. I think we’ll have a really good year next year.
Q. Did Game 3, Game 6 give you a taste of what this city can do in getting behind basketball?
A. Yes. I think when I’m looking back on the series, I’m the most bummed about Game 6 because we had the crowd and the atmosphere that we’ve been dreaming about. It’s one of the reasons I came back here was I wanted to help build something like that. To get that and have the game we wanted and to lose, that is eating at me today. Hopefully next year we’ll have that same atmosphere, we’ll be a better team, we’ll close out games better and we can all be happier together.
Q. It tells you that all of that is possible which maybe before you couldn’t be sure? Is that fair?
A. It’s very exciting. You see what is possible in every way – with this team, with this city, with the crowd, with everything. You see what is possible. It takes time to build some traction with a city. It starts with us. We have to put a product out there that fans want to come and watch and want to get behind and want to support and want to root for. I think we laid a decent foundation for what we are going to be and how we are going to play and what we are going to look like. I think it’s a really fun style of basketball to watch, all of it. The next level for us is we have to learn how to win. We’ve got to take those last couple of minutes and say this is how we win games. This is who is on the floor. These are the plays we run. These are the looks we are going to get. These are the shots we need you to make. These are the stops we need to get. These are the rebounds we need to get. Let’s go out there and do it. We had that … almost. Right? We’ll keep on getting better. We’ll learn from our mistakes. We’ll keep building on the good things from this year.
Q. All those things you said you need to do to learn how to win, is that from a player’s standpoint?
A. Yes. We had a lot of guys this year who played in the playoffs but not many of us had the roles on teams that we had this year. We’ve got learn to make the plays. We can’t wait for someone else to do it. We’ve got to go out there and make the plays. We were close. We have to be better.
Q. How would you access the job coach (Mike Budenholzer) did?
A. Coach Bud was great. I give him so much credit. There are a lot of coaches who get jobs in different ways and the come in. No one wants to be an assistant for a long time. He started at the bottom as the video guy for a lot of years. He was in a great system. He learned a lot. He watched film. He sweated with the players in the gym. He got his moment and he took advantage of it. He did a really great job. With all the injuries we had, it’s tough to keep a group motivated and keep a group playing hard. We had a couple games where didn’t play very well but we were in most every game this year no matter who we had on the floor. It’s a great testament to him and the coaching staff keeping us positive and keeping us motivated. He did a great job of letting us have a voice and letting us if we wanted to guard the pick-and-roll a different way or if we saw something happen on the court, he encouraged that. We could talk it through some. But we all respected him enough when he made the decision of this is what we are going to do that was the way we were going to do it. I think sometimes it’s difficult for a head coach to get that kind of credit in the locker room. He had everyone’s respect. Different guys were in and out of the lineup. He would go and talk to them and tell them why they were in and out of the lineup. That goes a long way with players. Those are not always fun conversations for coaches to have. But he did them and it went a long way. The system and the style that he want to play, we put it in. It’s not perfect yet but we put it in and we got better at it. It’s a fun style and it’s a style that guys want to play hard with it.